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Martin Rossiter: The Defenestration of St Martin

Reviewed By: Anthony Strutt
Label: Drop Anchor
Format: CD

'The Defenestration of St Martin' is the first solo album from Gene main man, Martin Rossiter. It has been delivered to us through PledgeMusic, and he has also released at the same time two downloads, an EP of cover versions, and also his first solo gig in a church. Martin has already pretty much road tested these songs to us twice before delivering this album, and, unlike his solo shows, this album is truly solo apart from a brief band contribution at the end of the album. Martin has for a number of years now lived in Brighton, and it has influenced his style of writing especially on this work.

The album is piano and vocal-based, and piano opens the album with the first track, 'Three Points to the Compass'. It is soft and it sets the pace of the album. Martin's vocals sits next to it, and, while not as racy the work he did with Gene, his voice is still commanding, forcing one’s ears to prick up and take notice. He still likes to cause commotions and here, hinting at an unhappy childhood, it ends with the refrain of “The only thing I got from you was my name.”

Martin's sex life has always been fiery, and he is not shy to speak up for himself. ‘I Want to Choose When I Sleep Alone’ features some mature piano playing, and that compelling voice again.

‘No One Left to Blame’ has an almost soft ballad style flavour to it. This is the nearest here to anything he did with his former band. The vocal swings along with the piano, which in turn carries you along on the song’s journey.

‘Sing It Loud’ is lovely and softly paced, a song that praises life and carries you away with ‘Where There are Pixels’ again is slow, and has a whistle solo to it. It also has a Spaghetti Western vibe too it.

‘I Must Be Jesus’ is a song about the pain that you suffer in this life, and is reminiscent of Lee Marvin’s ‘Wandering Star’. ‘My Heart is Designed for Pumping Blood’ is, despite its title which suggests otherwise, a jolly number upon which Martin with wry humour tells us that he is not as romantic as you might think he could be.

‘Drop Anchor’ is a live favourite, and is a song to work up your emotions and to envelop you in the safety net of Rossiter's golden vocal. ‘Darling Sorrow’ is a charmer, while ‘Let the Waves Carry You’ is heavy on the piano with a silky vocal that reminds us why we loved him in the first place. It ends with a short band jam, for which Martin plays bass and which puts a lovely full stop to his debut solo album.

A fantastic album.

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